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From our archives: ‘Desegregation: Economic Weapons’
This Monitor editorial from March 24, 1956, about the Montgomery bus boycott opposed it on the grounds that boycotts are damaging to “both races and to the South as a whole.” The editorial goes on to say segregation is a manifestation of “white supremacy,” which is “not pretty even when as unconscious as the discrimination practiced in the North.” Part of a 2019 archival project on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

From our archives: ‘Which path for civil rights? Nonviolence was Dr. King’s Plea’
After the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, the Monitor considered what might happen to the civil rights movement that had, for many around the world, become synonymous with him. This article from April 6, 1968, traces the thread of nonviolence through King's life – how it evolved and the forces arrayed against it when he was killed. Part of a 2019 archival project on Dr. King.

From our archives: 'Harboring hate'
This editorial from April 10, 1968, ties “the bitterness” in American policies during the war in Vietnam to the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Those “twin trials,” the editorial board writes, should cause every American deep shame. Part of a 2019 archival project on Dr. King.

From our archives: ‘Drive to end slums’
In 1966, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. extended his mission beyond the South – pushing for progress in the North starting in Chicago. Dr. King penned this piece for the Monitor on March 14, 1967, making his case for open housing to end segregation and overcrowding. “Slums and slumism,” he writes, is “the end product of domestic colonialism.” Part of a 2019 archival project on King.

What really happens behind bars? Insiders make videos to show you.
Part of a wider media initiative at California’s San Quentin State Prison, FirstWatch gives participants the opportunity to tell their stories – and be held accountable – through the lens of a camera.

Macron’s turn at G7 helm: Can he offer Trump anything to keep him in?
Nationalist versus internationalist. The philosophical clash hangs heavy over those trying to maintain multilateral institutions. As Macron works to keep Trump in the G7, the same forces buffet him at home.

Emergency alert: Declaration could end shutdown – and create new challenges
Using an emergency declaration to build a border wall would not only run into political opposition but also likely get snarled in litigation – so that any construction would proceed at the pace of the legal system.

Seattle affordable housing gets $500 million boost from Microsoft
Thanks to a generous gift from Microsoft, Seattle will be able to offer more housing options to thousands of low-income workers, many of whom struggle to afford rising rents throughout the Puget Sound region. 

Georgia man arrested for plot to attack White House
The FBI intercepted a radicalized man's threat to the US government through a months-long sting operation. Unable to travel to ISIS-held territory abroad, Hasher Jallal Taheb planned to attack the White House and the Statue of Liberty instead.

New US defense strategy would track missiles from space
The Trump administration envisions a space-based defense system to thwart missile threats – a departure from current US weapons based on land and ships. While the White House is gunning for interceptors in space, Congress has ordered a feasibility review first.

This Texas town breeds something students need: confidence
Faced with declining enrollment and funds, rural schools are in problem-solving mode. Roscoe, Texas, pushed for changes aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty. What lessons might its approach hold for other districts like it?

Behind LA teachers strike, a ‘battle for the soul’ of public education
In addition to questions about class size and pay, at the heart of a teachers strike in Los Angeles is a clash over what public education is actually supposed to do: provide an equality of opportunity or aim for an equality of outcomes.

Shutdown Day 26: A game of chicken no one wants to lose
As costs of shutdown grow, so does sense among both sides that they need a substantial win to show for it.

Shutdown: no end in sight as next round of paychecks for workers looms
As the government shutdown reaches the 26th day, President Trump refuses to back out of his demand for Congress to provide $5.7 billion to build a border wall with Mexico, while Democrats insist they will only discuss border security when government reopens.

Yes, bipartisanship happens
Why a criminal justice reform package passed Congress this week. 

And they're off: Democrats to watch in 2020 race
As the 2020 presidential race begins, we look at a short list of prospective Democratic candidates and their prospects.

Debating an evolving definition of ‘diversity’ on campus
Amid increased scrutiny after the Harvard case, college admissions officers cull the next round of candidates with an eye on all the different ways a student body can be ‘diverse.’

For young Native Americans, running is a lesson in their own history
Great teachers can make a lifelong impression and inspire learning across disciplines. Wings of America coaches seek to help kids overcome stereotypes with stories of Native American athleticism and advocacy.  

Shunned by colleagues on the Hill. But at home, support for King runs deep.
The Iowa congressman has come to encapsulate the heated battles over immigration and race. Before the turmoil over Iowa Rep. Steve King’s white supremacy comments, we sent a reporter to take the measure of the district that elected him nine times.

More US classrooms adopt game-based learning to engage students
Apps, websites, and software that contain video game elements help teachers connect with students whose lives are increasingly intertwined with technology. Although the game-based approach may be effective, some worry that the emphasis on pursuing rewards may be harmful.

Trump pick for ‘top cop’ on hot seat: Is Mueller criticism disqualifying?
As a cabinet member, the attorney general should align with the president, experts say, while still protecting the Justice Department from political interference. That balance may be difficult to strike.

Becoming an adult: Why more adolescents now say ‘Don’t rush me’
After 18, teens move into a new, widely acknowledged developmental phase called 'emerging adulthood,' putting off traditional markers of the grown-up world such as marriage, children, and home ownership.

What does it mean to be ‘conservative’ in the Trump era?
The outsider presidency has challenged core conservative principles, such as commitment to free markets and limited government spending. As factions seek to define this new era, what is replacing “official conservatism?”

In Flint, a future built on schools as well as safe water
The Flint water crisis may have faded from national headlines, but for locals the story is lifelong. The city's holistic approach to recovery may hold lessons for other struggling communities.

An eye-opener for a journalist who goes back to school
What happens when a journalist returns to her childhood school district to find the great racial strides of the 1970’s unraveling? Ask the Monitor’s Stacy Teicher Khadaroo. Stacy recounts her experience documenting the reversal of racial balance in Buffalo, New York in her recent cover story My hometown schools are segregated again. I went back to see why.

Bipartisan ‘talking stick’ session? Not in this shutdown.
Just a year ago, Sen. Susan Collins was able to break a shutdown logjam by gathering senators in her corner office to hash out a bipartisan solution. Here's why that bridge-building technique is not working now.

US voters tackle gerrymandering with gusto. Incumbents are less sure.
Gerrymandering used to be the province mostly of spelling bee contestants and policy wonks. But for many today, redistricting reform has become a fundamental struggle for fairness.

Will Trump’s State Department push religious freedom to center stage?
A 20-year movement has gained new champions under the Trump administration. That cheers supporters but also raises sticky questions.

Once a nation of joiners, Americans are now suspicious of those who do
The erosion of social groups in the United States is a widely recognized trend. But when distrust of membership spreads to faith groups, misunderstanding can breed fear and jeopardize constitutional protections.

A shutdown fight that’s about much more than a wall
The impasse over funding for a barrier on the US-Mexico border reflects broader disagreements between President Trump and Democrats over questions of security and American identity.

‘Plogging’ picks up steam – and trash – worldwide
It is perhaps a diversion for the inveterate multitasker. Enthusiasts of a Swedish-coined term, “plogging,” marry running with picking up trash along the way.

As shutdown’s impact grows, pressure rises to end it
Partially closing the federal government is not just about politics. It has a human face, too.

In Middle East, Pompeo and Bolton hash out US policy shifts in real time
Who likes surprises? America’s allies, not so much. All the more so in the tense Middle East. And that’s creating challenges as envoys for a president who likes to surprise offer reassurances across the region.

Trafficking survivors shed an unjust label: ‘criminal’
As attitudes about justice in sex trafficking cases change, more states are giving survivors a chance to clear away convictions for prostitution. But the victim-centered approach is still in its early stages. 

Mexico tells early learners: You need to play more.
Mexico’s experiment with prescribing songs and games for young children to improve their development is prompting discussion around the question “What is the role of play in education?”

With no deal in sight, shutdown reveals depth of ‘trust deficit’
Lack of trust can hinder any negotiation, but it’s especially harmful in politics, where compromise is increasingly portrayed by activists on both sides as capitulation.

Think Trump is a gift to cartoonists? They beg to differ.
In an era of tribalism and rage, helping people see things from a different perspective is harder than it looks. Through humor and satire, cartoonists hope they can help the country get to a better place.

Ocasio-Cortez gains instant stature in Congress, and social media is a key
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has drawn attention, in part, for her use of social media. The congresswoman represents a new kind of politician maximizing this direct line to the public.

The Trump effect at two: Have views of an unconventional presidency shifted?
Supporters see his norm-busting approach as good for the country at the same time that critics view it as dangerously unstable. Is he sowing chaos or being unconventionally effective?

When she picks up gavel again, Pelosi will preside over a very different House
Returning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been a polarizing political figure. But one part of her legacy has echoed beyond policy and partisanship: her role as a trailblazer for women.

How Tulsa’s bold experiment is bringing families closer to stability
Three mothers in Tulsa are part of billionaire George Kaiser’s bold bet on early child development as an antidote to intergenerational poverty. Their journeys shed light on the promise of philanthropy to close an opportunity gap that opens when children are young and widens as they grow. Part 3 in a series.

‘It’s like we don’t exist’: California’s invisible rural housing crisis
The precarious state of low-income housing in rural America threatens to deteriorate over the next decade – and from there descend into a full-blown crisis.

Rising hopes for democracy in the American heartland
It’s a trying time for the American republic, but in my travels for the Monitor this year I saw encouraging signs from Kansas to Kentucky. 

On foreign policy, a confident Trump removes his training wheels
What do the Syria and Afghanistan withdrawals, coupled with James Mattis’s hastened departure, mean? Likely sharper challenges to traditional US alliances and global leadership.

Why the Supreme Court may be taking a ‘go slow’ approach
The justices have declined to take several controversial cases and refused White House requests to bypass lower courts.

The deep roots of America’s rural-urban political divide
Rural voters are an often-mentioned base of support for Donald Trump and Republicans generally. But there's a deeper story behind the rural-urban divide in US politics – and a danger in oversimplifying it. Fifth in our “Democracy Under Strain” series.

America’s Christmas tree: The hunt for the iconic Rockefeller tree
Like hanging treasured ornaments and decorating gingerbread, for millions of Americans the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a beloved tradition and a comforting symbol of the holidays. 

Christmas shutdown: Why Washington let the government close
The latest government shutdown hinges on a single issue: border wall funding. But as Congress grows more divided and compromise becomes increasingly scarce, lawmakers may increasingly turn to shutdowns as a negotiating tool.

Controversial. Chaotic. But not a do-nothing Congress.
You might have expected a rare one-party-controlled Congress to have accomplished a lot. But what it did get done – including some bipartisan work – came despite deep political disruption. 

No room at the inn: Mexican Posada tradition inspires US migrants
International traditions are commonly adapted to new environments via migration and globalization. In California, the ritual of La Posada, which reenacts Joseph and Mary's search for shelter, has taken on new meaning in a time of increased anti-migrant rhetoric.